If you are like me, and like most designer I know, you are a typography nerd and snob. Bad kerning, poor font choices, papyrus, and font vomiting (excessive use of multiple font in one design,) really irritate you to the point of typographic anger. So, as we start Graphic Design 2 this semester, we will be focusing on using typography as a valuable design element to aid in the successful, and well designed, communication of a design’s intended message.
A new recourse, to help in your typographic design inspiration has emerged from a well established and familiar source—Communication Arts Magazine. If you are not familiar with CA, it is a bi-monthy magazine that focuses on design, photography, illustration, interactive design, and typography. Along with their regular issues, they also have yearly annuals containing professional work from all over the world. CA has a design annual (my favorite), advertising annual, interactive design annual, photography annual, illustration annual, and now, CA has released a much anticipate and very inspiring typography annual. The typography annual focuses on the excellent and creative use of typography in design and advertising.
When I received the new Typography annual, I was quickly distracted by it. I stopped what I was doing and was captivated by the typographic design solutions found within. One ad in particular really captured my attention…
The ad for Life Coach Gym, advertising their new SMS weight loss service, is brilliant. It uses a simple and engaging typographic concept for the solution utilizing the common SMS vernacular to connect with the viewers. Syed Asif Shah, the designer and art director of the ad, had this to say about the solution, “the idea behind this ad was to convey the message in a simple, innovative, and memorable way. We made a comparison between fatness and slimness using simple text-based drawings, which most people are used to using in SMS.”
The brilliance of the ad lies in its simplicity, clear and well executed concept, lack of clutter through the use of images, and its excellent use of color and composition. I love this ad because it uses only typography that clearly communicates the intended message, it is eye catching, and it is simply clever. The color is a good choice, however, I think any solid color with the same value would have worked as well.
When a design uses a solid creative concept, with out being over designed, and has an element of cleverness, it is usually successful. I am always inspired by design solutions that use only typography in a way the engages the viewer as well, or better than, a design solution that relies heavily on images.